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Near Peer Mentoring Exchange

This voluntary exchange supports faculty in succeeding in their many roles. Past participants articulate numerous ways in which the exchange helps them feel more connected and productive.

Purpose

To promote faculty success by addressing the needs that incoming Duquesne faculty have expressed to us: make connections across departments, understand the University better as a whole, navigate the various resources available to them, and learn to balance personal and professional life. 

Our approach is evidence-based. Research shows the effectiveness of early-career professionals and near-peers engaged in mentoring. It indicates the limitations of having just one mentor, and instead recommends creating a mentoring network. Early-career faculty research highlights the importance of building community, a sense of belonging, and a safe place to figure out how to manage the many aspects of faculty life.

Information for the 2017-2018 Exchange

Who: Incoming full-time faculty and early-career faculty already at Duquesne are invited to participate in groups of four people (2 + 2).  A near-peer is someone who has succeeded at the next steps for which incoming faculty are preparing (e.g., annual reviews, third-year review). These cross-disciplinary groups do not replace the importance of mentors within your department and field.

How it works: One early-career faculty member will organize the group, with guidance and resources from CTE. Group members each contribute from their experience and ongoing learning. Sample topics: engaging students in learning, navigating department and university structures, understanding student evaluation of faculty, learning what research looks like in different fields, and fostering work-life balance.  Typically, tenure-track faculty are grouped together, as are non-tenure track faculty.

When: Groups choose their own meeting time.

Expectations: Active participation in monthly, one-hour small group meetings in October 2017 - March 2018.  Giving of feedback at the final whole group brunch/lunch in late April/early May 2018.

Join a group: Registration for AY 2017-2018 is now closed. If you have questions, please contact cte@duq.edu or call 412.396.5177

Project leaders: Laurel Willingham-McLain (CTE) and Jason Margolis (School of Education).

In this our 6th year, we are enthusiastic about the mentoring exchange and are confident of its value to you.  

Participants are saying...

I not only enjoyed the perspective that I was getting from those who were mentoring me but also someone who was on the same level as me. She brought up things I hadn't thought about, and it was great to have her thoughts and feedback.

It was nice to have something that got us out of our buildings, our offices, and classrooms and meet other people on campus.

It's a place where you can spring board some concerns and you'll get different perspectives. Getting feedback from people who have been here longer and from different departments was really, really helpful. 

I liked the interdisciplinary nature of the exchange because you were able to form relationships with people you normally wouldn't interact with. It was nice when you wanted to share successes or some hardships [...] because it wasn't like talking to peers you see every day.

I think near-peer mentoring is an amazing beginning to building that university community that we would not otherwise be able to build.